One of the great things about Cannock is that the trail builders seem to be constantly busy. This was evident as soon as we set off as there was a new little trail feature almost immediately as we entered the first piece of singletrack. It was a short board ramp up to a small rock roll. All straight forward enough but it's good they keep adding these kind of things.

After Thursday night being mud free in the Nottinghamshire woods I wasn't really expecting to get too mucky at Cannock. I couldn't have been much more wrong! The trail surface was very damp and by the end of the first section we were all absolutely plastered in spray on dirt. Big E and I got to the bottom of the first climb and waited for Steve who was nowhere to be seen. He was taking ages and we were just about to head back when he showed up saying the power link in his chain had snapped and he had had to stop to replace it. He was suffering big time from chain suck on his middle ring so that had probably caused the chain issue? He decided to stay in granny ring for as much of the ride as possible!

As usual, instead of going up the fire road climb we opted for the singletrack a bit to it's right. The damp conditions soon saw all three of us struggling with rear wheel traction. Those mud tyres will finally be going on this week!

Once we were across the road and on to The Monkey Trail progress was fairly steady as we had to keep waiting for Steve due to his lack of gears. When we got to the black option with the switchbacks/steep rock gardens I stopped to warn the other two as neither of them had ridden that section before. I remembered failing on one of the switchbacks last time so I was very happy when I cleaned the whole section - particularly as it was all wet and greasy.

Back across the road on Follow the Dog there was more evidence of those busy trail building folk. The long closed section 11 was open with some new bridges and steps. Also the very last section of Follow the Dog (the one with the rollers) was closed for maintenance.

As we rode through the camp site area there was some sort of adventure race going on with teams getting off bikes and entering an assault course. On the next section I got a good lead in so I could get ahead for some photos. I stopped at the Weirwolf drop. Steve had previously had a refusal here but on Saturday he was happy to clean it. In fact he was so happy he had another go! Our presence also seemed to encourage a few other dithering riders to have a go?

As we finished on the fire road diversion I was chatting to another rider who we had met as we rode along. I hit the little puddle/hump combo next to the gate before the road pretty fast and he followed me. Unfortunately he went down spectacularly behind me! We made sure he was ok and had a laugh with him before breaking out the mobile washer back at the cars.

A quick wander around the shop and a pint on the way home finished the day off nicely. Steve bagged some bargain Fox shorts from the discount rack in the shop too.